Our big ideas make a difference in the world. As we prepare for a promising 2014, take look at this year’s top thirteen news makers.
ABC News featured the research of Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. His study is the first to observe two crocodilian species—muggers and American alligators—using twigs and sticks to lure birds, particularly during nest-building time.
USA Today covered featured Lindsay Lee’s reactions to be being named a Rhodes scholar. The senior from Oak Ridge is the seventh in UT history to earn the distinction.
The Chronicle of Higher Education featured in its article “A Diversity Effort That Goes Back Decades” the success of the College of Engineering’s diversity programs, which have graduated more than 900 minority students in forty years.
The New York Times included in its story “Algorithm Can Identify Dolphin Whistles” research by Arik Kershenbaum, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NimBios) which has found that a computer algorithm used to identify songs can also identify the signature whistles of bottlenose dolphins.
MSNBC-TV interviewed Derek Alderman, geography department head, for a story that takes a look back at Martin Luther King’s legacy by analyzing the streets across the country that bear his name. Alderman has studied the names of these streets for fifteen years.
Forbes featured the College of Business Administration’s business analytics degrees in its article “Are Degrees in Big Data a Fad or a Fast Track to Career Success?” The college was the first in the nation to launch degree programs in business analytics at the undergraduate, masters, and MBA levels. The article discusses the long-term relevance of the degrees.
NBC News spoke with Jan Simek, distinguished professor of science about his research into cave art. Simek has discovered that some of the oldest art in the nation maps ancient people’s cosmological understanding of the world around them.
USA Today interviewed George Dodds, about regenerative design. He is chair of the School of Architecture’s graduate program,
U.S. News & World Report‘s article “Study: Oil-Eating Bacteria Mitigated Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,” featured the work of UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology Terry Hazen. Hazen has found that oil-eating bacteria abundant in the Gulf of Mexico may have prevented the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill from being more catastrophic.
The Wall Street Journal interviewed David Bassett, professor in the Department of Exercise, Sport, and Leisure Studies, for its article “Hard Math: Adding Up Just How Little We Actually Move.” Bassett has conducted studies that have found that a walking regimen results in modest weight loss, improved glucose tolerance in people at risk of developing diabetes, and other benefits. (Subscription required.)
The BBC talked with psychology professor Gordon Burghardt about his research regarding animal play for its article, “Why Do ‘Single’ Birds Dance?”
The Wall Street Journal reviewed a book by history department head and author Ernest Freeberg about Thomas Edison’s greatest invention: Modern America. (Subscription required.) Freeberg’s book, Age of Edison, follows the engaging history of the spread of electricity throughout the United States. The LA Times said one of the many pleasures of the book is that it captures the excitement and wonder of those early days, when “a machine that could create enough cheap and powerful light to hold the night at bay” promised “liberation from one of the primordial limits imposed by nature on the human will.”
U.S. News and World Report included the research by Jimmy Mays, distinguished scientist and chemistry professor, who has received $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for research and development of a next-generation condom.