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From the College of Natural Sciences

Exams Review

Dear Students, It's still exam time. Some of you have had your first round of tests this semester. For others they will come this week. When the exam grades come out, it is easy to just look up your score and move on. But whether you aced it, bombed it, or ended up somewhere in the middle, you should reflect on what you learned and your learni...

First Exams

Dear Students, It's the time of the semester for the first round of exams. I hope that you see exams as a challenge and an opportunity rather than a hurdle. Faculty give exams to assess how students are learning. That's why we are all here. So approach exams as a learning experience. Better yet, actually work at it. Be systematic. Try differen...

Scholarship and Scholarships

​Dear Students, Two quick messages this week. First, one thing that is great about being part of a University is the opportunity to further a wide array of scholarship. In the College of Natural Sciences it should come as no surprise that we generally focus our scholarly attention on scientific questions in the natural sciences. However, ...

Undergraduate Research Forum

Dear Students, One of the things I enjoy the most about being a scientist is the opportunity to present my results and discuss them with colleagues. In presenting my work, I not only get to share what I have learned but I get new ideas and inspiration from questions. I also realize the challenges of presenting ideas that I think about all the ...

Let's shake on it

Dear Students, The search is on, and it starts with Handshake. Whether you are graduating this semester or looking for a summer internship, there are over 100,000 employers, including 95% of Fortune 500 companies, utilizing Handshake for jobs and internships in diverse industries. This is an online platform to connect you with a wide array of ...

Not Dead Yet

Dear Students, I have only two quick items to pass on for finals week: 1. First, a quote from Monty Python: "I'm not dead yet!" There are classes today. Don't forget we have an extra Monday this year (and hence forth each fall). Tuesday we can start "dead days." 2. This week, final exams start. Even our "graduates" need to finish thi...

Last Week, Almost

Dear Students, It is the last week of classes for the fall! Except that we actually have class next Monday as well. But I'm sure you all enjoyed your Wednesday off last week so much that no one will complain about one more day of class. I hope that everyone was revitalized by a few days off for Thanksgiving and that you used the time to enjoy ...

Being Thankful

Dear Students, Some of you will get the chance to get home for Thanksgiving. Some of you might have headed home already! Others will stay in Austin. Wherever you are, take the time to do one thing. Sit down and think about something you are thankful for. Do it in a tangible way. Write it down. Share it with a friend. Putting your thanks into w...

What's Ahead

Dear Students, I had a plan to write something about our amazing student services this week. And while we still have a dedicated staff that work tirelessly for CNS students, it seemed impossible not to write something this week about the election results. First, this is a community that had a responsibility to one another before the elect...

Citizens of the World

Dear Students, Tomorrow is Election Day, and the citizens of our city, state, and nation will be electing new leaders. Some of you can and will exercise your right to vote. Others of you likely already have, given the long lines I've seen at the FAC for early voting. But now is a great time for everyone to reflect on the larger purpose of your...

Now That is Scary

Dear Students, You find yourself alone in your room. It is dark. Quiet. Too quiet. It is uncomfortably warm and you toss and turn trying to sleep. You bolt up out of bed with a fright! The spring semester is over, and you haven't made any summer plans!!!! Now that is scary. Don't let this spooky Halloween nightmare come true next spring. ...

Your Spring Courses, Rethought

Dear Students, It is time to start thinking seriously about courses in the spring. As I am a bit under the weather this morning, I will keep it short. Make sure you are being thoughtful about what you want to take as you plan out your spring. The College works very hard to make sure we are offering all the courses that students need to progres...

Talking Shop

Dear Students, A few weeks ago, I was in Russia for a scientific conference. While it was a chance to visit with some research collaborators, as well as see a bit of Moscow, most of my time was spent in a hotel conference room listening to talks. The meeting was on organic electronics and covered topics ranging from solar cells to LED lighting...

Audit, Questions, Notes

Dear Students, While we still have a good chunk of the fall semester that remains, now is the time to start planning for the spring. Before registration arrives you should be sure to make an appointment to see your advisor. Earlier is better than later. In case you missed it, there are a bazillion students in CNS, and our tireless advising sta...

You are CNS

Dear Students, We are a ways into the semester and it is a good time to check on where you are standing. Some of you may be cruising along. Others might have run into some difficulties. It is important to remember that there are a whole host of folks here who are ready to help you: from academic advisors to faculty, graduate teaching assistant...