News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Participate

Dear Students,Welcome back to a new year and a new semester. Once again, we begin this semester with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday. So if you don't have plans for how to spend the holiday, here are a few.Both in Austin and around the nation, today is a day of service and celebration in our communities. So find a way to participate. Come to...

It has arrived

Dear Students,It has arrived. The last day of class this semester! And while for some of you that means donuts and CIS sheets, I know for others it is likely that last exam. So keep up the good work as we head into finals.I could drone on and on about finals but I will offer only my same few small pieces of advice.Take care of yourself. Take advant...

Bubbles, Dogs, Fuel, and More

Dear Students,It is the last week of classes. Yes, I know about next Monday, but it is still the last week. There are exams, projects, papers, and lab reports to finish. And then it is final exams. So while you have much to do on the academic front, be sure you are also taking care of yourself. Eat. Sleep. Exercise.Next week, to help with finals pr...

The end is in sight

​Dear Students,I hope that everyone was revitalized by a few days off for Thanksgiving, and that you used the time to enjoy friends and family, to rest and relax, and to ease some of the end-of-the-semester tensions.And now, back to work! Two more weeks of classes (plus an extra Monday). Papers. Projects. Final lab reports. Last round of exams.So c...

A postcard from out of the blue

​Dear Students, Thanksgiving is, in many ways, a complicated time. Between family, expectations, cooking, preparations, travel, more travel, overeating, and more eating, there is a lot going on. And this doesn't even begin to address the challenging historical questions surrounding this national holiday. Despite all of this, I think it is...

Recognize someone

Dear Students,Don't read into the fact that this email didn't make it out until Tuesday that it is not important. If anything, it is even more important. As Thanksgiving is approaching, now is the time to think about taking time out to recognize someone who has helped you during your time in CNS. There are two great opportunities to do this.First, ...

Just get out and do something

Dear Students, Part of the life at a University is experiencing the cultural, academic, and enrichment opportunities that take place outside of the classroom. These are the opportunities that make a University a vibrant community. There are countless events happening each week on campus. So many, that often it is easier to simply do nothing th...

What have you got to say?

Dear Students,We are entering into the second half of the fall semester. By now I hope you are in a good routine with all of your classes. Many of you have completed multiple exams and projects. So it is easy to want to take a break right when you need to be gearing up. Now is the time to put all of what you have learned into practice. Everyone sho...

Mole Day and more

Dear Students,Is there a better way to start a week than Mole Day? It is the invented holiday that celebrates the concept of a "mole" and Amedeo Avogadro whose gas law contributed greatly to the fundamental idea of the existence of molecules. I'm not sure what you're supposed to do for Mole Day except post random GIFs of dancing moles holding up te...

What do pizza, networking, art, star gazing, donuts, and a petting zoo have in common?

Dear Students,What do pizza, networking, art, star gazing, donuts, and a petting zoo have in common? They are all part of Natural Sciences Week.From freshmen to seniors, the Natural Sciences Council has brought you a week of events that has something for everyone. From student orgs, to networking, to art in science, NS Week has interesting events e...

Seriously, Let’s Talk

Dear Students, A key part of being a scientist (or pretty much any profession) is the ability to communicate effectively. This week, I have two related messages.The first is about science. All too often scientists are so caught up in the details of what they are working on that they can't manage to translate those ideas to non-experts. This ma...

Kale helps you learn

Dear Students, I have no idea if kale helps you learn or not. I would be very surprised if it did, since I made up that idea when I was thinking of a good subject line for my email. Like my fictitious advice, the world is full of helpful study hints that may sound good, but for which there is little evidence. This is one of the reasons that yo...

A personal challenge

Dear Students, In our world of ever-growing distractions, I'd like to issue you a challenge this week: put down your phone and connect directly with people around you.I was going to entitle this email "Get off my lawn" or something along those lines. But then I realized that this was really a challenge for myself. I had read some research from...

Everyone Loves Exams

Dear Students, We are now starting to find a rhythm this semester, and part of that rhythm is exams. Everyone loves exams! Or, at least, most students do. Or maybe no one does. I can't ever keep that straight. But, love them or not, they are a critical part of learning.Moreover, you shouldn't wait for exams to crop up to test yourself. Aldous ...

The After Life

Dear Students, The fall semester is in full gear, and as always things are moving at a rapid pace. I know that this has been a crazy start for many of you with the recent natural disasters. But I encourage all of you to be sure you are taking advantage of your opportunities and resources on campus. Whether it is your freshman Cornerstones grou...