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From the College of Natural Sciences
Meet the Dean's Honored Graduates of 2022

Meet the Dean's Honored Graduates of 2022

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences bestows its highest honors for graduating seniors on a select group of students during graduation week. Students across the college are singled out for College of Natural Sciences Distinctions and celebrated at a special Graduates of Distinction event. Among the distinction winners is an even smaller group of students, known as Dean's Honored Graduates. 

NSF Awards Graduate Research Fellowships to 22 CNS Students

NSF Awards Graduate Research Fellowships to 22 CNS Students

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards a Graduate Research Fellowship to students who plan on pursuing a research-based master's or Ph.D. program in a STEM-related field. The fellowship is awarded to exceptional individuals and will support them in elevating their research with the goal of furthering advancements that will transform the future.

Introducing a New Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine

Introducing a New Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine

A new Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine combines novel and existing courses from across the University of Texas at Austin to create a unique program in a rapidly expanding medical field.

Remembering and Celebrating UT Austin’s First Black Math Ph.D.s

Remembering and Celebrating UT Austin’s First Black Math Ph.D.s

For decades, the number of Black students pursuing STEM degrees has been increasing nationally, but in the 1960s in UT Austin graduate programs, it was a different story. The small group of African Americans pursuing science and math doctoral degrees then were true trailblazers. This month, the College of Natural Sciences learned of the recent passing of one of them, doctoral mathematician Llayron Clarkson, who was 97. In addition to being an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin's mathematics Ph.D. program, Clarkson was a former top academic leader at Texas Southern University.

Texas Science Stories that Wowed Us in 2021

Texas Science Stories that Wowed Us in 2021

While for many 2021 may have felt like it lasted a few years, it was in fact just 12 months—and University of Texas at Austin scientists and researchers managed to pack a ton of new discoveries into that time. From the furthest reaches of the cosmos to the depths of the ocean and from the tiniest microbes to the most massive black holes, research in Texas Science covered a lot of ground, as researchers pushed boundaries, answered big questions and offered solutions to the world's problems. Here are 16 examples of how UT Austin scientists, mathematicians and technologists used 2021 to usher in new knowledge and innovations to help change the world.

Getting Math and Physics on the Same Page

Getting Math and Physics on the Same Page

In this illustration, three exotic particles called “anyons” circle around each other in a process called braiding. Mathematicians use a method called generalized symmetry to study such interactions.

When physicists want to explain how subatomic particles—such as electrons, photons, quarks and neutrinos—behave and interact, they use a framework called quantum field theory (QFT). QFT might be the most successful physical theory ever invented. It was used to predict the existence of the Higgs boson, antimatter and neutrinos. And it has predicted the results of particle physics experiments accurately to the highest number of decimal places ever recorded.

Math for Poets: Postdoc Heather Wilber Wins AWM Dissertation Prize

Math for Poets: Postdoc Heather Wilber Wins AWM Dissertation Prize

Heather Wilber, an NSF postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mathematics who joined the Oden Institute in May 2021, received the 2022 Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) Dissertation Prize for a study entitled, Computing numerically with rational functions. Although only published earlier this year, it has resulted in multiple papers in scientific journals already, appearing in the SIAM Journal of Scientific Computing, Linear Algebra and its Applications, and Constructive Approximation (to appear).

Eleven Faculty Members Honored with College Teaching Excellence Award

Eleven Faculty Members Honored with College Teaching Excellence Award

CNS teaching excellence award winners Aaron Zimmerman, Ann Thijs, Ariel Taylor, Ladia Hernandez, Shinko Harper, Keith Hawkins, Soo Hyun Yang, Sarah Abraham, Kathryn Dabbs, KyongJoo Hong and Fatima Varner

​The Teaching Excellence Award in the College of Natural Sciences seeks to promote and recognize outstanding teaching in the College of Natural Sciences by honoring faculty members who have had a positive influence on the educational experience of our students. In a year marked by having to adapt to teaching during a pandemic, each award winner went above and beyond to deliver their best in the classroom.

An Algorithm for EMS Response

An Algorithm for EMS Response

David Kulpanowski has an important job. As an IT business systems analyst with Austin-Travis County EMS, he's responsible for tracking ambulance response times in the City of Austin and then conducting simulation models to see how they can be improved.

Getting ambulances where they need to be and fast enough is a life-or-death matter.

CNS Welcomes 16 New Faculty Members

CNS Welcomes 16 New Faculty Members

The College of Natural Sciences welcomed 16 new faculty members since April. They bring expertise in health, artificial intelligence, biochemistry, data science, coral reefs and much more.