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From the College of Natural Sciences
Freshman Research Initiative Spotlights: Crystals and Nanoparticles

Freshman Research Initiative Spotlights: Crystals and Nanoparticles

Experiential learning in the College of Natural Sciences includes the nation's largest effort to involve first-year students in meaningful research, the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI). In the spring, hundreds of first-year students join one of over 27 unique research streams for real, hands-on encounters with meaningful research questions that need answering.

Freshman Research Initiative Students Published in Nature Genetics

Freshman Research Initiative Students Published in Nature Genetics

The groundbreaking Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) program at The University of Texas at Austin helped a pair of students put a coveted feather in their cap quite early in their academic careers: the chance to say they’ve been published in a top-tier scientific journal from the prestigious Nature Publishing Group.

For a Big Impact, Go Small: An Introduction to CNS Cornerstones

For a Big Impact, Go Small: An Introduction to CNS Cornerstones

Every week, as Sneha Patel stood in front of the roughly 20 freshmen she mentored and gave tips on how to navigate college, she would see a lot of heads nodding—but not in the back of the room. There sat one girl, always with her headphones on, not participating. Patel was surprised when the student signed up for one of the individual sessions she offered to each of her mentees. She probably won't even show up, Patel thought. When the student did arrive for her meeting, she was very quiet at first. Then something shifted.

Brackenridge Field Lab Shines in National Report

Brackenridge Field Lab Shines in National Report

Jacob Heiling (BS '13) was already interested in biology when he started working as a greenhouse assistant at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) as an undergraduate. The time he spent watching butterflies interact in the greenhouse sparked his interest in studying species interactions, and that led to an independent research project on the chemical ecology of bird-dispersed fruits.

Finals Week

Dear Students, I have only two quick items to pass on for finals week. 1.  Today was Fall Commencement! (“Graduation” for those not familiar with academic lingo.)  What a great day of celebration.  Congratulations to our all of our CNS graduates.  You should be proud of all you have accomplished at UT and on the successful com...

Last Week‏

Dear Students, I hope that everyone was revitalized by a few days off for Thanksgiving.  Judging by the dwindling numbers of people on campus Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last week, I suspect some of you took more than a couple days off.  I hope that you used the time to enjoy friends and family, to rest and relax, and to ease some of ...

Thanksgiving Week

Dear Students, Many of us will leave campus this week to visit with family or friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.  After a long semester with few (if any breaks) it will be a welcome respite.  It comes unfortunately very near the end of the semester.  It is easy to let up on studying right when your learning should be hitting its ...

Press On

Dear Students, It has gotten to be that time of year.  The true grind of the semester is upon us.  Work is piling up.  The weather has become darker, wetter, and colder.  And sometimes it seems appealing to huddle in bed rather than tackling the challenge of the rest of the term.  That is why I was pleased to be reminded ...

What is in a degree?

Dear Students, There was a time when a large fraction of all of the chemistry research in the world took place in Germany or Russia.  As a consequence, when I earned my B.S. in Chemistry, the degree required I take a year of either German or Russian.  This was considered essential, as chemists needed to be able to read the chemistry lite...

Teach and Learn

Dear Students, I remember the first time I had to teach Physical Chemistry I (CH353).  I was worried.  It had been more than a few years since I had taken this course as an undergraduate.  Despite the fact that in this course I received the highest final grade of any class during my four years in college, I didn’t really r...