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From the College of Natural Sciences
Standing Together in the College of Natural Sciences - Updated

Standing Together in the College of Natural Sciences - Updated

A message from Dean Paul Goldbart to the College of Natural Sciences community underscores the need to stand in solidarity and support one another. This post was updated on Tuesday, June 2 to include a statement from the CNS Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

For Each Day’s Delay in Social Distancing, a COVID-19 Outbreak Lasts Days Longer

For Each Day’s Delay in Social Distancing, a COVID-19 Outbreak Lasts Days Longer

A new analysis of COVID-19 outbreaks in 58 cities has found that places that took longer to begin implementing social distancing measures spent more time with the virus rapidly spreading than others that acted more quickly

University Welcomes New Center for Planetary Habitability

University Welcomes New Center for Planetary Habitability

Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter

​Scientists from across The University of Texas at Austin are joining forces in the hunt for life on other planets. Astronomers, geoscientists, chemists, biologists and aerospace engineers have pooled resources to form the UT Center for Planetary Systems Habitability, a cross-campus, interdisciplinary research unit.

Researchers Design Evolutionary Algorithms for Neural Networks

Researchers Design Evolutionary Algorithms for Neural Networks

Texas Computer Science graduate students Garrett Bingham and William Macke, under the advisement of professor Risto Miikkulainen, are contributing to the improvement of AI with their research. Their paper, entitled "Evolutionary Optimization of Deep Learning Activation Functions" was accepted into the 2020 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. The work concerns the evolutionary optimization of activation functions as a potential means of improving neural networks, which may ultimately lead to the creation of smarter and more accurate AI.

Nobel Laureate, Web Stars, Drumming Dean Cheer on 2020 Graduates

Nobel Laureate, Web Stars, Drumming Dean Cheer on 2020 Graduates

​At the end of each May, the College of Natural Sciences celebrates another year's graduates, their impact at UT and the positive change they'll bring the world. This year's graduates were extraordinary, making countless contributions on the Forty Acres and in their communities. For them, the College of Natural Sciences missed having a live event this spring but instead held our first virtual commencement celebration. High-profile scientists, friends and faculty, as well as students themselves, joined in a day especially for recognizing and honoring our newest graduates.

Meet the 30 Dean's Honored Graduates for this Year

Meet the 30 Dean's Honored Graduates for this Year

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences bestows its highest honors for graduating seniors on a select group of students. These students, known as Dean's Honored Graduates demonstrate excellence across multiple domains, achieving not only academically but in scientific research, independent intellectual pursuits, leadership, service, entrepreneurship and community building. Below are biographies of the 30 outstanding students selected by a committee of College of Natural Sciences faculty for this distinction in 2020.

Researchers Discover Genetic Mechanism Behind Scoliosis in Fish

Researchers Discover Genetic Mechanism Behind Scoliosis in Fish

For about 100 years, scientists have known about the Reissner Fiber, an enigmatic structure inside the spinal canal of vertebrates. What they didn't know was exactly what role the Reissner Fiber played in the formation of the spine during different life stages and what influence it had on spinal conditions like scoliosis, a condition displaying atypical curvatures in the spine.

Texas Science Students Serve the Community During the Pandemic

Texas Science Students Serve the Community During the Pandemic

Undergraduates in public health, neuroscience and computer science found ways to help out their communities and fellow classmates, amid and in spite of COVID-19.

Students at UT Austin already had plenty on their plates. When COVID-19 hit, the usual return from spring break and settling back into campus life turned instead into a mass migration—students scattering to shelter in place wherever they call home, in many cases moving back in with their families. Some became ill or began caring for sick family members. Classes moved online. Jobs ended. Everything was topsy turvy (it still is). But that hasn't stopped College of Natural Sciences undergraduates in public health, neuroscience and computer science from finding ways to help out their communities and fellow classmates.

The Next 50 Years: The Future of Cybernetics

The Next 50 Years: The Future of Cybernetics

This semester, the College of Natural Sciences is checking in with faculty experts about developments related to their fields of study that may well affect how we live, work and interact with one another and the world around us over the next 50 years.

Graduating Seniors Help Identify Scientific Solutions in Coronavirus Fight

Graduating Seniors Help Identify Scientific Solutions in Coronavirus Fight

As confirmed cases of COVID-19 began to appear in the U.S., graduating seniors at the University of Texas at Austin looked for ways to apply their scientific expertise toward slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the midst of their own academic careers and personal lives being turned upside down by a pandemic, their work yielded potential solutions to the shortage of coronavirus tests and medical-grade facemasks.